- Mercury, Venus, Saturn and a crescent moon
Mercury, Venus and Saturn
I plan on waking early before dawn to look up in the eastern sky to see these three planets at once. I hope the clouds will be gone. The brightest is Venus and will be easy and obvious to spot. Below Venus and hugging the horizon will be Mercury. Above Venus will be Saturn and above Saturn will be a crescent moon. You will not need a telescope or binoculars.
The Geminid Meteor Shower
The planets were named by ancient astrologers who called them wandering stars and had no idea that they were planets, because the concept of planets was unknown until Galileo’s time. For the next several early mornings the moon will be lower in the sky. Sliding down night by night until it disappears below the horizon leaving a dark moonless night. This is fortunate for us, because we will be able to see the Geminid meteor shower on Dec 12th thru the 15th which will peak the night of December 13 until dawn December 14. This is usually the best time to wish on a falling star, because you will probably see one or two every minute. You will see the meteors anytime after dark, but the best viewing time will be about 2 a.m. I’ll blog more about the Geminid meteor shower, but for the next few days if the sky is clear enjoy being able to identify Mercury, Venus, Saturn and read my previous blog on Jupiter to see four planets in one night!